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The battle roared into action. As Eater of Kindred began to back up and Ninja Man disappeared to Sol knew where, the other three Solars charged forwards. Overly Combative Simian smiled grimly, letting his Essence flow around him, creating a sharp jut between him and his foes. Taking advantage of his increased speed, he leapt forwards, charging across the space between himself and the Deathlord as though nothing could stand in his way. Behind him, Invincible Sword Princess did the same, Essence wrapping around her in a protective coccoon of golden light as she prepared her own magics. Starry-Eyed Boy was advancing more cautiously, but was clearly prepared to do what damage he could from across the arena; a surprising amount, most likely.
But then Simian looked ahead, and his breath caught in his throat. The Deathlord was already moving...

So, as the above flavour text indicates, we open up with initiative. Everyone immediately goes full-bore, with Simian, Princess, and the Lion all triggering Thunderbolt Rush. Actually, they've all triggered Combos; Simian is going with his Overwhelming Rush Technique, hoping to hit the Lion and use his defensive Charms to not die, Princess has triggered the Everywhere and Nowhere Prana in an attempt to overwhelm the Lion, and the Lion is activating his Infinite Plentitude of Dark Destinies combo.
This one deserves a moment of explanation, as it isn't written up. It includes his supplemental Melee charm to make people need perfects (5 motes per use), the Melee supplementals Slashing Ghost Talon and Savage Shade Style, and every reflexive Charm that could possibly be used in a fight. It probably cost him about 500 experience to develop, and he most likely spent weeks or months integrating his powers, but what else is he going to do with his time?
Regardless, the combo most definately includes Thunderclap Rush, and he chooses to activate it. This means that the Lion, Simian, and the Princess have to roll off against each other. This turn, Boy has to roll too, thanks to Secrets of Future Strife. Ninja and Eater are going last regardless, but get to roll against each other.
The Initiative order resolves as follows:
First And Forsaken Lion 30, Starry-Eyed Boy 27, Overly Combative Simian 22, Invincible Sword Princess 21, Ninja Man 15, Eater of Kindred 14. Lion didn't roll too well. Ah, well. Guess who's going first?

The Lion moved with impossible speed, charging across the arena with impossibly long and fluid strides. Suddenly, he slammed every one of his chains into the ground, flipping into the air a mere handful of yards from the heroes. Flying through space, his tendrils spun and flashed, sending ten wickedly-tipped barbs flying towards every major organ in Overly Combative Simian's body. Simian threw up his staff into a swirling wall of metal to try and deflect the blows, even as he desperately poured Essence through his body as chain after chain passed harmlessly through him. But in the end, there were simply too many. One chain slammed into his stomach, and the second crushed his throat. Simian fell to the ground, blood dimming his vision. He had time for one last wince of pain as the Lion absently crushed his skull with one foot as he landed, Varan's Ruin already raised to strike his next opponent.

The First And Forsaken Lion moves his full distance (42 yards), triggers Spider Pounce Technique to cover the last few yards, and declares that all of his ten Brawl actions are going to be used to attack Overly Combative Simian, unless Simian dies, at which point he'll keep going. Thanks to a nasty-little stunt, he can use both his specialty and regain a Willpower if he hits, and the attacks are coming in at 29 dice each. Even with his Kata up, Simian doesn't trust his ability to block that, so he starts dropping Essence into Seven Shadow Evasion. That blocks six attacks before Simian runs out of Essence completely, at which point he aborts to a Martial Arts parry, which gives him his full 22 dice (+2 stunt for 24) against all attacks thanks to Mantis Form. He also spends 1 WP on each defense in a desperate attempt at survival. Attack #7 scores 14 successes, and Simian blocks 15 successes, for a bare parry. Attack #8 scores only 12 successes, and Simian manages 14 to block. Wow! Attack #9 scores 16 successes, however, and Simian only gets 8 to block. Ouch. The base damage for the attack is 45L, plus 7 for extra successes, minus 12 for Simian's soak (reduced by the hearthstone bracers). Net: 40L. Simian takes 20 levels of lethal damage, dropping him to his last -2 level. Two more damage and he'll be incapacitated. For attack #10, Simian spends 3 WP - one to ignore wound penalties, one for a success, and one to channel Conviction - he refuses to be the first to die. The Lion rolls a whopping 17 successes to hit, and Simian rolls only 13. Net damage: 36L. Simian takes another 11 levels, and dies. Flat out. And the Lion still has his Melee attack, which he can't split due to the chains. Also he just regained one Willpower.

The Lion spun over the body of Overly Combative Simian, and raised Varan's Ruin towards Invincible Sword Princess. The blade wailed hungrily as he drove forwards with it, hoping to quickly end this mockery of a duel. To his surprise, the Princess's blade skipped easily off Varan's Ruin, and drove towards him, golden light caressing her like a lover. Suddenly, the Lion found himself on the defensive, forced to parry an attack he had barely expected, and he stepped backwards in a moment's confusion. In that moment, Starry-Eyed Boy struck.

The Lion is, of course, using all his Melee supplementals here. However, Princess Magnificant has a perfect defense in her combo, and she uses it now. She follows up with a Solar Counterattack, which the Lion uses one of his held perfects to parry.

Although he was still twenty feet from his enemy, Starry-Eyed boy raised his hands, and thin strands of moonsilver lashed forth, spraying bits of starmetal and jade as they moved in a deadly arc towards the Lion. Easily, he raised his sword to block them, but found himself having to do so time and again as a thunderous storm of magically-enhanced attacks rained upon him.

Starry-Eyed Boy takes his action now. Knowing that the Lion doesn't have any persistants, he decides to try and overwhelm him with attacks. He splits as much as possible (7 ways), trusting in his massive diepools and bonus successes. And soak, and what have you. He also attacks from about twenty yards away, protecting himself from any potential counter-attacks. The Lion burns through 7 more perfect defenses, leaving him with only two. Starry-Eyed Boy then activates Full Moon Exalt Ways, giving him 5 free successes on all future Dexterity rolls.

Suddenly, it was the Lion's turn to give ground, as blow after blow rained down, Invincible Sword Princess joining the fray. However, for every blow he blocked, another lightning-fast blow struck at her. Nothing found ground, and the two combatants broke apart after only a second; a second that had held within in a dozen blows. For the first time, the Lion sounded impressed. "You've got talent, girl. A pity it won't save you."

The Princess knows she isn't likely to break through the Lion's attacks, but she has to continue her assault. She spends 2 motes on each of her 5 attacks with Iron Whirlwind, and the Lion blocks the first one with a perfect. Then he uses Vengeful Riposte, with his Melees spliced in, forcing her to perfect parry. This continues until the Princess runs out of Willpower, at which point she can't continue attacking without being savagely struck. The Lion, however, is forced to refresh his perfect defenses, which is definately a good start. Especially with two Exalts still to come.

Even as the Lion looked at the Princess, he caught a hint of movement out of the corner of his eye. Spinning, he raised Varan's Ruin just as a shuriken came whistling out of empty air and struck the blade. The Lion looked to the wall, where he could barely make out the outline of Ninja Man. A storm of shurikens filled the air as the ninja made his opinion of the Lion clear, sending shuriken after shuriken screaming towards him. Again and again the Lion batted them aside, sending them crashing to the sand or flying towards the bleachers, where the magic of the arena barely prevented them from murdering a few spectators.

Speaking of two Exalts... Ninja Man has decided that the time for action is now. Triggering Hurricane Combat Method, he starts throwing shurikens. Lots of shurikens. The Lion easily makes his roll to spot the attacks coming, but is forced to go through six more perfects to block them; no persistants.

The Lion spun again at the telltale hiss of an arrow, as Eater of Kindred made his presence known. Five arrows came one after the other even as the Lion was finishing with the shurikens, and he cursed quietly under his breath as he spun, viciously smashing them to pieces even as they flew towards him.

Eater of Kindred is feeling left out, so he joins in the fun. He uses five Principle of Motions to attack, confidant that he can wear through the Lion's defenses, and then uses his main action to refresh Principle of Motion. Again, the Lion perfect parries, spending another Willpower to refresh. It's working! Sort of.

Aaand... that's it for Round One!

First And Forsaken Lion: Willpower 7/10, Personal 22/65 (17 committed), Peripheral 187/187 (31 committed). Health Levels: 35/36 (OK). Held Perfects: 7

Overly Combative Simian: Dead. Ouch.
Invicible Sword Princess: Willpower: 0/7, Personal Essence: 0/0 (20 committed), Peripheral Essence 10/29 (22 committed). Health Levels: 22/22 (OK).
Starry-Eyed Boy: Willpower: 7/9, Personal Essence: 0/0 (24 committed), Peripheral Essence: 25/25 (30 committed) Health Levels: 21/22 (OK). (5 more turns of Exalt Ways)
Ninja Man: Willpower: 7/8, Personal Essence: 3/3 (20 committed), Peripheral Essence: 36/36 (18 committed) Health Levels: 22/22 (OK). (4 turns of Hurricane Combat)
Eater of Kindred: Willpower: 6/8, Personal Essence: 8/8 (15 committed), Peripheral Essence: 38 (16 committed) Health Levels: 22/22 (OK).


Recap: One solar slaughtered and one exhausted, with the deathlord at about 2/3 strength. Sounds about right? -braincraft

Yep, sounds about right. Round 2 should be interesting, though. Look for it around lunchish. - FrivYeti

Basically, the guy can kill one (possibly two, because ISP is toast next round) solars per round, and not get hurt until he runs out of perfect parries. He has 7 WP left and gains another with every kill. Can the remaining solars put together 70+ attacks before then to exhaust his charm defenses? Of course, even then, they'll have to actually kill him. -braincraft

They have two tricks still up their sleeves. *grins* Round 2 will show whether they survive or not. Also, the Gaia's Rebuke spell-cords are for when the Lion runs out of perfect defenses. 150L in one round could take even him down a notch, if he has no WP to pump great Charms. Might not kill him, but would be close. - FrivYeti
I'm surprised ninjaman didn't have a spam attack combo involving CoTC and shower of deadly blades. Said combo would have cost 2 willpower + 5 motes and 25 motes for up to his essence in attacks, that can not be dodged is at double his full die pool. This would force the Lion to spend his perfect defenses against the spam attack. ~ Haku
I considered it, but the Lion is going to be using perfect defenses regardless. As long as he's not using persistants, the Solars don't need to worry about that sort of thing. - FrivYeti